Update: Sept. 10, 2013
Our Trek Fuel 29er Project One test bike has arrived and we could not be more pleased. Project One is Trek’s custom bike program where the user can configure a bike with a million different frame, color and component options. The process of selecting a color was daunting for us non-creative types so we solicited the input of our users to come up with some cool designs. We ended up with a about a dozen brilliant designs but we settled on this one cause it is ‘money!’ And we think it will look really cool in the redwood forest specially in the mist when the errant ray of sunlight hits it. Check here for an overview of the Project One process.
When we did our configuration and by the time your read this, the configurations for Project One were quite expensive with only carbon available and most setups costing over $8000. But Trek has expanded the offering and will be offering Project One in aluminum frames and lower price points. After all, everyone, not just the wealthy would rather have a personalized bike with custom paint and components that are optimized for one’s style.
Component highlights for this bike include the SRAM XO 1×11 drivetrain which is the revolutionary single front chainring system by SRAM but in a lower cost platform. This is the best product introduced last year as it functional, light and it doesn’t drop the chain. It drops the chain even less than a bike with a front derailleur. This drivetrain is mated to an XT brake system cause Shimano just rules the braking category right now in terms of performance and value.
And finally the latest wheels by Bontrager are in this package. Bontrager has redesigned their wheels from the ground-up to a deliver a package that is lighter, stiffer, more reliable and attractive. More to come on these later.
How did the bike look compared to the visual example on the Project One website? Pretty close we think. The painted bike is shown here http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/projectone/#bikerack/1181339
Our spec for the test bike is part of a new effort to bring the Project One offering to a lower price point that is more attainable for most folks. Highlights are an aluminum frame with with Shimano XT and SRAM XO components. These new frame and component options will be available on Sep 19, 2013. Our build is as follows:
Crank: X01 32 teeth, 175mm length
Rotors: 180mm in the front, 160mm in the rear
Stem: RXL 70mm, 7 degree rise
Handlebar: Rhythm Elite – 750mm/5mm rise
Saddle: Standard width Evoke RL
Wheels: Rhythm Elite
Tires: XR3 TLR
Seatpost: Reverb Stealth
Shock: Fox Evolution Series
Fork: Fox Performance Series – Black
Brakes: Shimano XT
How is the bike so far?
Three rides in and the bike has been flawless. We love the 50mm stem length and 740mm bars that we spec’ed. The wide saddle fits too perfectly too. The XR3 tires are huge and fast and they will work well year round. But we’d like to put an XR4 in the front for the next couple of months while our bone-dry trails remain powdery.
The SRAM 1×11 drivetrain mated with the Shimano brakes fits and works perfectly. We only wish that we spec’d a right hand dropper post lever so we could put it on the underside on the left hand to take the place of the absent front shifter. And finally, we like that the frame is aluminum to save cost and we put the money in the high-end Bontrager Rhythm Elite wheels that they are now producing. All in all, we loved the process of having fun with colors, getting creative with spec and now just rallying with the bike.
Go to the next page for our ride report of the bike in Sedona, AZ.